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Picture of Bailey Loosemore
Over the past decade, study after study has shown that thousands of people who live within certain areas of Louisville don't have adequate access to food.
Picture of Bailey Loosemore
A reporter sets out to make the issue of food insecurity hit home — both for the average reader and Louisville's leaders.
Picture of Erica Peterson

To document Rubbertown, Ky., residents’ claims of unusually high rates of disease, I needed hard data. Originally, I had planned a health survey of the areas around the industrial plants. When that proved impractical, I enlisted a state health monitoring agency.

Picture of Erica Peterson

My series about Rubbertown, Ky., included real people who have lived close by their whole lives and were exposed to all kinds of chemicals in the past. But I would have sensationalized the story if I hadn’t reported the uncertainty that still permeates most of the research on health in the area.

Picture of Erica Peterson

What’s the answer for dealing with past, present and potential safety problems in Rubbertown? Kick out the industry? Move the people? Find some middle ground where everyone can coexist? Is it even possible to coexist?

Picture of Erica Peterson

Start your car. See that puff from the tailpipe in your rear-view mirror? Benzene, butadiene, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide. Louisville communities burdened by pollution on the West End also face emissions from local traffic.

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People who grew up in Riverside Gardens tell stories about playing in the landfill—and in some cases, following the bread trucks in and scrounging the day-old bread that was thrown out there.

Picture of Erica Peterson

Louisville, Kentucky's Riverside Gardens neighborhood is surrounded on three sides by pollution. In its heyday, it was a resort community for Louisvillians who wanted a quick, close getaway from the city.

Picture of Erica Peterson

In the early days of Rubbertown, no job was dirtier than an entry-level post at the B.F. Goodrich plant. Workers climbed into large vats that had held the chemical vinyl chloride to clean them. Decades later, at least 26 of these men have developed cancer and died from it.

Picture of Erica Peterson

All of the major factories in Louisville's Rubbertown area have permits governing how much they can emit. But when residents report unpleasant smells, it’s hard to know where they’re coming from and whether a factory is violating its permit.

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